“some 1,350 properties [were] restored in Pelourinho district…[for] tourism. Concurrently, the number of residents in the historic centre decreased from 9,853 in 1980 to 3,235 in 2000.… [During this time, IPAC’s renovation policies were] leading to a progressive population exodus and a corresponding deterioration of the urban landscape.”
- UNESCO Retrospective
“[IPAC] usurp[ed] the right to care for and police the historic center’s inhabitants so as to safeguard its monuments...”
- John Collins, Revolt of the Saints
This project problematizes and evokes Pelourinho’s history of mass displacement with a facility open to everyone: a public bathroom.
A nearby empty lot will be converted into a public park and wetland for reflection and waste filtration.
Theproject’s ambiguous plantings and tense location encourage infiltration and occupation. It is meant for street people, shop owners, and tourists.
The project’s construction involves removing and replacing every cobblestone in the square. The stones are replaced differently. Some are used to create a plaza in the new park; their vacancies allow plantings that conduct water from the bathroom to the wetland.
The stones of Pelourinho have witnessed 450 years of Salvador’s life, including periods of violence and displacement. Their removal symbolically uncovers buried realities; their replacement in a new configuration allows the possibility of change.
“It was because we never had grammars, nor collections of old plants. And we never knew what was urban, suburban, boundary and continental. Lazy men on the world map of Brazil. A participating consciousness, a religious rhythm.”
- Anthropophagite Manifesto, 1928.
1. REMOVAL - of cobblestones from site to empty lot
2. EXCAVATION - of earth to empty lot; rerouting underground pipes
3. RETAINING - of earth; erection of molds
4. POURING - of concrete retaining walls
5. PLACING - of pipes, structure, and filtration systems
6. PLANTING - of filtration path, of underground filtration, of new park
7. REPLACING - of cobblestones in Pelourinho, of cobblestones in new park
8. BUILDING - of floor, fixtures, and ceiling slabs; of paths and benches in new park
Concord Military Park
The 5,028-acre Naval Weapons Station in Concord, CA remains undeveloped. Its double lines of barbed wire fences are replaced by wood-backed carbon sentinels, gates that passively mark boundaries without barring entrance. The Station becomes a regional park and memorial to itself and its history. As the magazines overgrow with grasses, birds and wild plants return, and the ecosystem resets over the mounds of military occupation.
The proposed technology syphons carbon from atmospheric carbon dioxide and converts it into carbon nanotube sponges, which physically react to solar radiation and mechanically store energy. Rather than chemically storing energy like a battery does, the carbon system accumulates and grows, storing energy in its physical form.
By financially incentivizing solar energy production rather than home ownership -- an active income rather than a static commodity -- homeowners gain greater economic power and independence. Enough homes selling energy would invert the grid, making power plants obsolete.
Allowed to disintegrate, the wood-framed single-family homes of Concord, CA and wood-posted sentinels in the former Naval Weapons Station leave their carbon husks as ruins, or as markers. Not the monolithic corpses of skyscrapers, not the steel-framed expanse of airports, but house-sized carbon husks that sit within the landscape, growing and crackling, describing a new kind of symbiosis.
Paradigm Shift: Concord Naval Weapons Station Regional Park and the Popular Grid
The Labyrinth presents a solution to the problems of overcrowded cemeteries and underdeveloped juvenile outreach programs through an inversion of Hart Island’s model. Instead of punishing inmates with a degrading task, the Labyrinth offers local at-risk youth sacred responsibility and ownership of Central Park’s heart, the Jaqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir. Far from handling corpses, workers in the Labyrinth have custody of the land around and above new disposition grounds. Through alkaline hydrolysis, also known as liquid cremation, bodies passively dissolve in covered but publicly-accessible mourning cavities. After two months, the effluent remains rejoin a larger circulation through the reclaimed land of the reservoir, feeding new life and growth.
In this way, the new Central Park cemetery becomes a garden and urban farm, its youth center offering vocational horticultural training as part of a comprehensive alternative to detention that positions an often-disenfranchised population as caretakers and benefactors of New York’s most precious assets: its land and its legacy.